Obesity is arguably the greatest public health crisis of our time — and many research dollars are going into various treatment modalities. Duke researches have started a study that utilizes Android phones and wireless weight scales to help patients lose weight.
The basic premise of the study: Patient’s weight themselves on scales that wirelessly send the result to an Android app. Based on how your weight is trending on the Android app — you are sent messages and information to your phone, turning your smartphone into a bit of a life coach.
Below is a video of the Duke researchers showing this technology:
Thousands of medical students who are finishing 4th year are doing an exit survey administered by the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges). The survey is called “The Medical School Graduation Questionnaire (GQ)” and is an important tool for medical schools to use in program evaluation and to improve the medical student experience.
This year the survey asked about the comfort level of medical students with medical technology and electronic medical records. We’re not aware if the AAMC asked these questions last year as well, but it does highlight how large medical bodies are aware of the utility point of care mobile medical technologies provide.
One of our favorite patient education apps is now on the Blackberry Playbook — Blausen Human Atlas HD. To those unaware, the Blausen Human Atlas provides 3D animations of disease pathology, provided in layperson speak, and available in multiple languages. As our prior reviews of the Atlas have shown, we’re huge fans.
The medical animations are concise, beautifully rendered, and explain disease pathology in an easy to understand language for patients — making it a great tool to use at the point of care. I’ve used the app in the field to explain various pathologies, from otitis media to GERD, with great responses from patients.
This type of app development is exactly what the Blackberry Playbook needs in order to make a case for hospital and medical point of care use. It will be interesting to see if other big time medical app developers will follow Blausen’s lead.
For an industry that can use polymer-coated metal stents to open arteries about 1/1000′th the size of a penny and align 200+ beams of gamma radiation to ablate malignancies, its pretty surprising that healthcare as a whole has been a late-adopter of technology in pretty much every area outside of direct patient care. However, just as the stimulus package lit a fire under the movement to embrace electronic medical records, communications technology has finally begun to evolve as well.
In many other areas of healthcare, we’ve seen innovators leverage the investments of others, specifically electronics manufacturers and telecoms, to advance the practice of medicine. Similarly, in healthcare communications some of the more traditional players – Avaya, Vocera for example – have begun to offer support for iPhone, Blackberry, and Android devices. Voalte, which we recently featured, is company that embraced these popular platforms from the start. They believed these emerging smartphone platforms could transform healthcare communications, designing a system for nurses for the iPhone and Blackberry devices.
Here, we talk with Trey Lauderdale, VP of Innovation at Voalte, about the future of Voalte and healthcare communications.
In a sign that benefits of the iPad are being recognized by more than just medical educators and students, last week the Orange County Register reported that an anonymous donor had given $1.2m to the iMedEd initiative at UCI, which includes iPad’s and textbooks.
The article also mentions that the university is “explor[ing] hand-held ultrasound equipment”. This could be related to the mobile ultrasound device by MobiSante, we wrote about in December. That device uses a Toshiba smartphone as the interface and was the subject of a New England Journal review article titled “Point-of-Care Ultrasonography”.
With regards to the experience of students at UCI, Dr. Warren Wiechmann, director of instructional technologies for the UC Irvine medical school was quoted as saying
I was extremely impressed with the students’ and faculty’s willingness to adopt a new piece of technology with no advanced notice and really integrate it into their daily use. … Our students have created new studying workflows that involve taking notes on their iPads, incorporating diagrams from their digital texts, syncing them across their laptops and other mobile devices, and sharing them with other students.
Hard to believe that this is only the second year of the tablet in medicine.
“Aspects of Anatomy: Thorax and Upper Limb” is a new visual study guide for anatomy with the lessons given by Dr. Peter Abrahams, a professor of clinical anatomy at Warwick University and at St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada.
Dr. Abrahams has examined and lectured doctors worldwide and has won prior awards for classroom and electronic teaching of anatomy. His extensive experience, as well as a love for anatomy, truly shows through in this application. (read more)
Apple recently created an entire website profiling how Medtronic’s device representatives utilize the iPad to market products to doctors.
The article includes a two minute video showcasing the various apps that Medtronic has developed in-house.
This site is featured on the front of Apple.com (listed first under “Hot News Headlines”), and continues to demonstrate the recent trend of how passionately Apple is marketing the iPad as a viable product for the medical community.
In the past year, we have taken a look at the Color Atlas of Family Medicine, the Pocket Atlas of Emergency Ultrasound, and the Atlas of Emergency Medicine, all from Usatine Media in conjunction with McGraw-Hill. We reviewed all three apps quite favorably, declaring the Atlas of Family Medicine “a premier comprehensive atlas” and the app superior to the hardcover text version, and the Atlas of Emergency Medicine “a useful reference and point-of-care tool” for ER physicians and students.
Today we review a fourth app –Fitzpatrick’s Color Atlas and Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology—from Usatine Media. Usatine Media, led by Dr. Richard Usatine from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center-San Antonio, have developed the aforementioned four apps as well as the Color Atlas and Synopsis of Pediatric Dermatology. Fitzpatrick’s is co-edited by Dr. Richard Johnson, the Director of Clinical Dermatology at Harvard Medical School, and Dr. Klaus Wolff, Chairman Emeritus of Dermatology at the Medical University of Vienna. Read below the jump to take a look at the Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology Atlas app. (read more)
Last month on match day, fourth year medical students from around the country — myself included — found out where we’ll be doing our residencies.
I was extremely excited to find out I matched at my home institution, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, to do my Emergency Medicine residency, a program rich in EM culture and innovation.
Almost immediately after “The Match”, iMedicalApps received emails from fourth year medical students questioning what type of mobile device they should purchase for residency — almost all asking between an iPhone or Android.
We even found out some residency directors were already making suggestions for the incoming residents, choosing the iPhone. Below is an excerpt from one such e-mail:
If you are considering a change in mobile companies, please look carefully at an iphone. There are many apps that we will be using in the near future and it would be a significant benefit to have one.
After much debate between the editors at iMedicalApps, we have came to the conclusion that the choice of smartphone for not only a resident, but for physicians and others in healthcare has now become abundantly clear — the iPhone.
While much of the excitement in mobile medicine has centered on clinical and wellness tools for doctors and patients, there is a third player in the health ecosystem that plays a major role: the health plan. Whoever is paying the medical bills, whether it is the government or an insurance company, has access to vast amounts of data on drugs, providers and, of course, their members. Yet, the large majority of Americans probably are only dimly aware of the role their insurer plays in their health care and mostly perceive them as an impenetrable edifice.
But what if a health plan made their information stores easily accessible to their members ? Rather than appearing as a capricious dispensary of payments, the insurer could be a resource, pointing to cheaper drug alternatives and helping to locate in-plan physicians. Patients could then find out how much of their doctor’s bill has been paid by insurance and how much they owe. And, maybe they would not have to suffer through deciphering the explanation of benefits (EOB), that bane of doctors, to figure this out for themselves.
As Julie Kling, Mobile Executive Business Lead at Humana, explains in this interview, this is the vision that drove Humana to develop the MyHumana Mobile app for their members (iTunes,Android Market) . After initially defining their goals, they did further market research and presented it to focus groups. The preparation and execution paid off and the app won the 2011 Appy awards for the Best Medical App, presented by Media Post. We also note that the success of this app represents an example of how providers and institutions are likely to provide more clinical apps in the future, as discussed in a recent post titled “In the future, your medical app may come from your hospital not from an app store”.
Read on to learn Humana’s strategy and the steps they took to develop their app.
Last week, we discussed a recently published randomized control trial that demonstrated how the use of the iResus app, developed by the United Kingdom’s Resuscitation Council, improved the performance of advanced life support-certified physicians during simulated cardiac arrests.
The UK’s Resuscitation Council had commissioned University of Washington anesthesiologist Daniel Low, medical director of iMobileMedic.com, to help develop the free iResus app for the iPhone with the hope of improving healthcare professional performance in emergency scenarios, with the original version of iResus debuting in January 2010.
In addition to iResus, iMobileMedic has also developed other medical apps that include iNAP3 (statistics of outcomes following regional anesthesia), iDAS (protocols from the Difficult Airway Society), and iGasLog (professional case logging for anesthetists). Read below the jump for how the iResus app can help improve your abilities to perform in advanced life support/resuscitation situations.
iMedicalApps is an independent online medical publication written by a team of physicians and medical students who provide commentary and reviews of mobile medical technology and applications. We receive over 400,000 views a month by the medical community. Reviews and commentary are based on our own experiences in the hospital and clinic setting and creative and content control are strictly managed by the medical professionals running the site.
The iMedicalApps team does not endorse or affirm the validity of the medical content contained in the medical or healthcare technology we review or mention. Almost all mobile healthcare or medical applications are not regulated or reviewed by medical bodies, and as such the validity of their content should be determined by the end user, the iMedicalApps team does not take this responsibility. When making medical decisions use your own clinical judgment.